JUST five years after the shop was set up by members of the community who didn’t want to lose an important village amenity, Horsley community shop has received one of the region’s highest accolades.

The shop, which is located in the Pavilion in Horsley, has been named Best Independent Retailer in the Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards.

Customers were asked to nominate their favourite deli, baker or food retailer for the award and the judges were particularly interested in establishments that genuinely supply products produced and grown here in the Cotswolds.

The retailer also had to show a genuine passion for the region’s food scene and a dedication to what it means for the local community.

Shop shareholders Alan and Sue Caudwell expressed their delight at being named the winners after the shop was runner-up last year in the same category.

“It was an extra special celebration for us as the announcement was also the same day as our 35th wedding anniversary,” said Alan, who is also chairman of the shop’s management committee.

“I feel that it is even more special to know we were voted for the award by our customers.”

The Horsley Community Shop was established in 2009 as a way of keeping a vital community asset following the closure of the village’s Post Office.

There are around 70 shareholders who each have a stake in the shop which is run by part-time manager Jo Lawson and an army of 40 volunteers.

“It is so much more than a village shop, it is the hub of the community,” added Alan.

“We provide tea and coffee and an area where residents can sit and read a book or the paper as well as WiFi.

“It is also a great place to find out any information about e different events and issues that are taking place in the village.

“You only have to look at villages that have lost their local shop to see how vital they are to the community.”

Horsley Community Shop is open 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12noon on weekends.